Planning Montana Poultry Growers Cooperative Next Steps
The Montana Poultry Growers Cooperative, legally incorporated in April 2006, is proud to be a part of the economic growth and environmental sustainability that comes with bringing value-added products like pasture-raised, on-farm processed poultry into the local food system in Montana. Since the cooperative's incorporation, the main goal has been to bring mobile processing infrastructure to producers in Montana. Until the development of the Mobile Processing Unit (MPU) in 2010 Montana did not have a facility for processing poultry for retail sales. The hard work and persistent dedication of Montana Poultry Cooperative members, strategic partner organizations and agencies and everyday food system advocates enabled the cooperative to meet this monumental milestone. We are now ready to legally process poultry for the marketplace, have a training resource developed that is being emulated in other parts of the country, and several producers utilizing the MPU resource this summer.
As is only natural, it would be easy for individuals and the cooperative as a whole to sit back and relish the success of our work. The challenge, though, is not to become too comfortable and complacent. Much work remains to develop a viable and prospering pastured-poultry industry in Montana. In April, the MT Poultry Grower’s Cooperative hosted a workshop led by Jim Adkins from the International Center for Poultry. We concluded the workshop with a meeting comprised of cooperative members and workshop attendees to begin laying a plan for the Cooperative’s future work. The following survey reflects the meeting’s big ideas. Please take a few minutes and complete the survey. It will serve as a roadmap for the Cooperative’s future direction.